YellOwStaR can’t make Fnatic #1
Today the world renowned support player (and former world champion according some confused bloggers) who had called Fnatic his home, returns to it. Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim will now be seen once again adorning the orange and black of Fnatic after a short, and disappointing, stint in the North American LCS with Team Solomid. YellOwStaR was brought across the Atlantic to participate in the newly formed NA “super team,” but seemed to become disenchanted with the team and NA after Solomid went 9 – 9 in the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split.
Fnatic fans are ecstatic about having their support-god and shot caller back, welcoming him with open arms as they did with ADC Rekkles a year ago. I am happy to see YellOwStaR return to the team which he has both performed best with, and where he is most appreciated, but one does have to question if he will be able to turn in the same performance he had during the team’s historic undefeated split. Kim’s results in the North American LCS have been underwhelming and many fans of TSM (although nearly the entire community has respect for Bora) were not-so-silently hoping that he would leave the team in favor of a more dynamic support player.
There is no denying that YellOwStaR has had an outstanding career in League of Legends and is one of the few mainstays remaining (along with players like former teammate Doublelift) from the “good ol’ days” of League, but I feel, as with many aging pros before him, the returns on having Kim in the bot lane may not be worth the starting spot. Although his Alistar play still seems to be top notch with a 75% win rate during the last split (and we’ve seen at MSI that Alistar may be the most dominant support champion currently in the game), I don’t feel that he is above the professional average on any other champs. That means for opposing teams, expending 1 ban towards Bora may cause yield a huge advantage. I do believe that YellOwStaR potentially has other supports he can play, but he has not shown any consistency on other champs recently (his second most played last split, Braum, only has a 14% win rate). On the other hand, another big reason that YellOwStaR is highly touted is because of his shot calling.
Shot calling is something that you hear about when it comes to professional League all the time (and yes, there will be an article about it in the near future), and it is the “it” factor in League of Legends. It is hard to gauge who is doing a majority of the directing on the rift and whether or not the rest of the team is responding to the calls, but if TSM’s last split is an indicator, the shot calling may not be so crisp on YellOwStaR either.
As there is plenty of time for Kim to practice and get comfortable with his new (old) team, I don’t think that he is going to have a shockingly poor performance. Also, as I currently think that the EU region as a whole has some serious work to do, I don’t think YellOwStaR will be caught off guard or behind any other support in the league. I want to reserve judgement until we get some news on scrims or get to see what kind of shape he is in now that he is home, but I do have a healthy suspicion that the support fixture of Fnatic will be on the rift (as a first string player) for only 1 split longer.